Inns, taverns, and restaurants â€“ these are the places of role-playing legend. Well, maybe not so much restaurants, but places to eat are important too! Such businesses are often the first place characters go when they enter a city, and the last place they leave before waving goodbye. In the history of RPGs, taverns have spawned more adventures than any other location. Inns are important too, because they serve as urban home bases and refuges for recuperation. Restaurants are less common game elements, though I hope this book will change that. They are a fresh break from typical locations, and are places for PCs and NPCs to meet, intrigue, and plan.
In many campaigns and groups, inns and taverns are gamed so much theyâ€™ve stopped being special. Theyâ€™ve become clichÃ©s. Many GMs run the same ideas and concepts over and over, stuck in a rut they might not even know they are in. If it isnâ€™t broken, donâ€™t fix it, right? However, breathing new life into these classic pillars of your game sessions is important. Nothing should be taken for granted. Donâ€™t let things become mundane, stale, and uninspired. This is a sure route to burnout and player apathy.
Next time the characters enter an inn, tavern, or restaurant, surprise them. Let them know things are different this time around. Make them second-guess their assumptions. Inspire them to look around with fresh eyes, and bring the wonder back to your game.
It starts with fun and interesting designs. This book is about helping you craft cool, useful, and entertaining establishments. It will help you create locations that feel real and interactive.
This book will also guide you in creating important puzzle pieces that snap into your games. Thereâ€™s little point designing campaign elements that have small story payoff. You have little enough time for preparation as it is, so this book is about earning double or triple wins from your designs: world development, campaign development, and encounter development. If you make a single inn, tavern, or restaurant serve all three needs, youâ€™ve saved time and improved your game sessions in one swoop. Let this book help you craft locations of superior quality. Your players will notice.
Itâ€™s interesting to note that inns, taverns, and restaurants often overlap in gaming. Inns serve food and offer entertainment. Taverns and restaurants might sell lodgings in the back or upstairs. All three types of businesses have similar design elements, so by considering one, youâ€™ll learn and be inspired to design all three. Thatâ€™s why I wrote this bookâ€”to cover each of these types as a group to save you time and energy rather than writing three separate books. You can apply the tips and advice that follow to any inn, tavern, or restaurantâ€”learn once, design often.